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Bus drivers approve contract, service to continue Friday

Update: Tucson's bus drivers voted to approve a one-year contract on Thursday, averting a strike as a contract extension was to expire at midnight. Buses will continue to run on a normal schedule Friday as management and Teamsters reached a $1 million deal.
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2 comments on this story

Aug 8, 2014, 4:25 pm
-1 +0

Other than the one-time increase, the wage progression for all union workers remains frozen.


...the agreement expires July 31, 2015 — means “we’re going to be right back here in nine months.”

That is exactly right.

All of that said, I’ll offer a thought that is somewhat out of character for me: They deserve more. They deserve A LOT more. 13 bucks an hour? I wouldn’t do the job for twice that. As a teenager, I used to ride the bus quite a bit, and I’ve seen first-hand what a lot of these drivers have to deal with on a daily basis. You get bums that haven’t showered in weeks. You get people with absolutely zero social skills and think the drivers should be there to entertain them with conversation. You get people who think that the entire rest of the world revolves around them and that you owe them everything. You get wanna be half-assed gangsters bullying the drivers and other passengers. When another wanna be half-assed gangster gets on the bus with a different colored snot rag hanging out of this pocket of his pants that should be pulled up, there’s a fight on the bus. On top of all of that, these drivers have to navigate streets littered with some of the worst drivers in the country.

It has to be an absolutely miserable job. I wouldn’t do it. Bus drivers in this town are very under appreciated.

It really rubs me the wrong way that the city outsources management of Sun Tran. They should retain that control and start paying them wages commensurate to that of other city employees.

Aug 8, 2014, 6:23 pm
-0 +0

@Bret Linden, the city’s in a bind when it comes to your suggestion. Public employees in Arizona are barred from striking, and federal transportation funds aren’t available to systems that don’t offer workers their full collective bargaining rights. Thus, they outsource management to a private, for-profit operation.

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